Buffalo VA Medical Center Underground Storage Tank Assessment

Buffalo, NY

Project Objective

Encorus was contracted to evaluate the existing Underground Storage Tanks at the location for reliability, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of continued operation, as well as to evaluate potential replacement options for the tanks and appurtenances as well as inherent costs and benefits of replacement.

Unique Project Features

The tanks were installed in 1989 and retrofitted with cathodic protection in 1997. VHA Directive 2008-062 requires that retention of equipment beyond the useful lifespan (40 years for fuel oil tanks) must be based on an engineering evaluation of reliability, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of continued operations.

Encorus Group Solution

Encorus examined daily plant report spreadsheets for the years 2012 through 2016, analyzing the entire winter season to ensure that the location’s coldest temperatures were captured, as Buffalo’s climactic conditions can vary widely. Both scenarios were analyzed for loading requirements. The corresponding natural gas fuel loads to those days were converted to equivalent units of No. 2 fuel oil (in gallons). Based on the required quantity of fuel to be stored, the need for redundancy and resiliency, and space constraints on the campus, tank sizes and locations were selected. References utilized included VHA Directive 2008-062, 40 CFR Part 280, 6 NYCRR Part 613, and Boiler Plant Daily Reports 2012-2016. Encorus presented the client with three options for consideration. All three include full tank removal of existing tanks as part of the design. Each option was presented with pros and cons as well as a cost estimate based on currently available data.

Specific Project Tasks

  • Analysis of historical data
  • Engineering calculations
  • Examination of applicable VHA Directives, codes, and standards
  • Preparation of options for presentation to the client